Jack is a 5-year-old boy who lives with his Ma in Room. They have tons of things to do every day. They take a bath, they eat, they build things with old boxes, they do Phys Ed, they get to watch TV just for a little while because it rottens your brain, they have treats every Sunday, and then Jack has to hide in Wardrobe at night when Old Nick comes (beep! beep!) and makes Bed creaks a few hundred times. Life is normal, and he's a happy boy, a real one, unlike all those things you see on TV which are all fake because in the real world all there is, is Room. And Ma. The thing is, Ma was kidnapped 7 years ago, and has been locked ever since. She has managed to make life as perfect as she can for Jack, but she knows it's not enough. She knows they have to get out, or die trying.
This book certainly touches a very complex theme. Kidnapping is a reality and there are more people in that situation than I can stand thinking about. It's a subject that touches our deepest fears and I personally think it's one of the worst things that could ever happen to a person. That's why I must admit that at first I felt a little desperate and claustrophobic while reading it, especially because Ma is always with a horrible toothache and the author makes a great job making you feel the setting.
But while the theme is a complex one, and the feeling you get is horrible, it is all told from the perspective of 5-year-old Jack, which takes a bit of the edge off and makes you see everything with a "screen": You understand that what's happening is horrible, but it's all normal for Jack, so it never gets to be too much for you as a reader.
There are two parts in this book and they're both great and different. You admire Jack, and Ma, even when you don't necessarily agree with her sometimes, you hate Old Nick (who I kept picturing as Jack Nicholson in The Shining lol!), and you feel everything they're going through.
The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that I felt that it lacked a proper climax by the end, but I guess when you have a book that has you bitting your fingernails from page 3, you can forgive that. Four and a half stars!
Also, I'm counting this book for the letter R in the 2014 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge